How time flies? Twenty years ago today Nelson Mandela walked out of prison a free man to lead South Africa into a vibrant democracy. And just 15 years since he left South Africa is speedily joining the rest of Africa in free fall and poor leadership.
So what went wrong after Mandela?
Millions of South Africans will readily point a finger to Mbeki, Mandela’s successor, the embodiment of their failure. Well, it is cheap to point fingers and even the populist JZ is coming to grips with reality that the presidency is no license to plant wild oats with daughters of all your comrades.
The steady fall of South Africa as a template for Africa’s renaissance leaves plenty of questions than it answers. Or may be Mandela knew something we did not by being the anti-thesis of African strong men when he consciously and deliberately relinquished power to Mbeki. Better still, Madiba saw it coming and chickened out to spruce his saintly name.
The strong headed Mbeki may have blighted Mandela’s legacy, but the randy Zuma is taking the cultural joke too far by taking spitting this auspicious anniversary with his scheduled state of the nation address. Mandela thrived and lived on optimism, Zuma prides in abusing that virtue.
May be all an African country needs is a Gaddafi and not Mandela. Just look at how generous and prosperous Libya is and the determination of its leader over the last 40 years to stand up for Africa. Forget the betrayal he suffered in Ethiopia at the hand off other presidents last week.
How can they be so ungrateful these African leaders? After benefiting from Libya's generosity they dare refuse to grant leader Gaddafi another term as AU chair. With that single act of selfishness the leaders have snatched the authority and audacity with which Gaddafi has been taking on the mighty on our behalf.
True to his King of Kings title, Gaddafoi did not leave the arena without a fight. During a midnight press conference, he took no hostages and declared that his eyes are now trained on leading the Arab League.
Gaddafi only wanted what he invested in after financing the broke AU for years. But the African leaders had other ideas after enjoying his generous inducements. And Gaddafi pulled no stops to remind them that AU without him is dead and he regretted having served such a thankless lot.
The African continent remain the poor with Gaddafi's exit. This is one Pan-Africanist whose passion and dedication to see through US of Africa is unparalleled. What is more, he should know better now that he is rightfully the longest serving president in the whole world.
Africa has lost heavily by refusing to extend Gaddafi's term. His vision to empower the continent's village and tribal elders was not only unique but also historic. Together with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Gaddafi is the face of modern leadership.
Look at Libya and the business expansion from Tripoli right at the heart of Nairobi. Former Grand Regency and Oilibya are case studies of brother helping a brother in need.
No wonder Gaddafi wasted no time to remind us of the true leaders of yore like Said Bare and Mobutu Seseseko. Somali and Zaire have knows no peace since the death of these gallant sons of Africa. Moi couldn't have agreed more.
Africa would be better advised to model their future around the realistic ethos of Gadaffi and stop living the utopian Mandela dream.